Would you like to study Engineering in the UK? Hear María Martinez Escobedo talking about her experiences of studying Aerospace Materials at the University of Sheffield and learn more.
About María Martinez Escobedo
Maria graduated with a Masters Degree in Aerospace Materials from the University of Sheffield and is now applying her knowledge at a top job at GE Aviation in Mexico. Find out about her time studying in Sheffield and what it's like to study in the male-dominated field of Aerospace Engineering.
What motivated you to study in the UK?
The well-known reputation it has for excellence and its strategic position in the Aerospace Industry. I am an Aeronautical Engineer, so the options for postgraduate studies in this area are limited.
What was the greatest challenge you experienced when studying abroad?
For me it was the language. At the beginning it was not easy for me, it was even harder to understand the Yorkshire accent and being able to notice the differences in both, formal and informal expressions they use.
Why did you choose The University of Sheffield?
When doing my research of top universities in the world, I started the application process for 3 of them: Sheffield, Swansea and Kingston. Fortunately, I received offer letters from all of them and I was able to decide, but Sheffield was the only one that was working with CONACYT in Mexico which offers annual scholarships to cover the tuition fee. After being introduced to the University of Sheffield and the many programs they offered, I found that it was one of the best universities for Material Science, the only one that offered a specific program focused in Aerospace Materials. I am sure that the scholarship was granted without hesitation because of Sheffield’s undeniable reputation of academic excellence.
What was the most valuable experience about studying in the UK?
It completely changed my life and the way I see the world. I met amazing people, studied harder than ever before and reached well beyond my limits when training rugby. The Sheffield University rugby team became my family in the UK and taught me a lot about experiencing the practice of core values both on and off the pitc
What inspired you to become an Aeronautical Engineer?
The novelty of the industry was new for me, and it seemed difficult and interesting at the same time. I wanted something that could be multidisciplinary. I had an excellent geography teacher who constantly encouraged me to aim high in new areas of knowledge. To my surprise a new campus of the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico was recently opened near my city, offering Aeronautical Engineering. When I went to see the University campus, the labs and the aircraft I became very excited - I felt that I belonged there.
What are you working on at the moment?
I work for General Electric Aviation as Design Engineer in Variable Geometry and Actuation Systems. I am responsible for providing engineering support on commercial and military programs, and ensuring compliance on safety, quality and design intent of the parts. I have recently been working on improvements in specific components for introducing redesigns in T64 and CT7 programs.
What do you consider your biggest achievements?
It is hard to tell. I believe every small win in my life has taken me to where I am today which is a big achievement. However, I would say that being recognized for my work as an Engineer of Promise in my country and being able to reach many young ladies, colleagues, and students to inspire them with my journey, has been the biggest achievement so far.
How do you think you can make a difference?
By learning from the experience, developing and implementing innovation for the future in what I do right now and leading by example. I can continue to contribute in building more safe, efficient and affordable transportation for people around the world. I can make the difference by doing my job in the best possible way and connecting with the young, colleagues and friends in my community by sharing the love I have for knowledge and engineering.
If you had the chance to give advice to your younger-self, what would that be?
Learn more languages and play a musical instrument. For me Engineering is art, but now, it has been proven that connecting with fine arts is a game changer for developing originality at genius level.
What skills and abilities do you consider important for women to develop?
Skills: Effective communication, self-confidence and teamwork for me are the most important. Abilities: Self-motivation, flexibility and networking.
What advice would you give to women who are thinking about studying in the UK?
Make the decision, plan accordingly, take actions and come along to reinvent your future, this is your chance to meet yourself.
Describe your experience in the UK in 3 words: exceptional, transformational, and gratifying.